Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC AL Final-Man

Select The Player Who Should Be Added onto the 2014 All-Star Teams below as the HBC NL Final-Man

Monday, May 31, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1993 Topps Traded #47T Wade Boggs

We reset the Topps Card Randomizer to come up with seven new cards to present for this week. Introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, May 31, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps Traded #47T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Wade Boggs, third baseman, New York Yankees.
  • Major League Debut: April 10, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1992 stats (Red Sox): 143 G, 514 AB, 62 R, 133 H, 22 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 1 SB, .358 SLG, 74 BB, 31 SO, .259 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Red Sox #7th, June 1976. Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 12/15/1992. Bats Left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Boggs' twelfth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only, not any combo, all-star, league leader cards). The 1993 Topps set was simple (set in a way that makes the picture look like it's being held by rubber bands. But thanks to that little design element, the picture becomes the primary focus of the card. And many of the 1993 Topps cards featured great action shots. This one included. And the vertical-oriented backs? Genius. The colored fields pop out, and even though the stats are hard to read unless you have a magnifying glass (or put the cards really close to your eyeballs), they are still pretty legible. I guess it's because he hit below .300 for the first time in his career, but it may be possible that the Red Sox didn't need Boggs' services anymore. And with Scott Cooper waiting in the wings, it may have been time to go. But shockwaves were felt throughout New England when it was announced that Wade Boggs, the Sox' All-Star third baseman, the hitting machine, the guy that ate nothing but chicken the entire time, had signed with the New York Yankees on 12/15/1992. What a Christmas present it was for New Yorkers everywhere. Because with Boggs in the fold, and the many players the Yankees had stockpiled in the minors, it was only a matter of time before the Yankees became relevant again. And when 1996 came roaring around, guess who finally got his first World Series ring??? And the curse continued. The blurb on the back recalls that in 1992, Wade achieved his 2000th hit on 05/17/1992 and that he belted a grand slam at Toronto on 06/12/1992. It also is revealed that Boggs was a shortstop in Little League. Who knew?
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 88 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1989 Topps #648. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Flashback: Memorial Day and What's Important

(This post was originally published on May 26, 2008.)

So I had just finished scanning the 2007 Topps Distinguished Service Set so I could post it here, and then it occurred to me that I was doing something wrong. Here I was ready to post something about Memorial Day and then I noticed that the people (ball players and historical figures) in the set were either still alive or, in the players' cases, went back to play baseball. It was then I realized that I should save this set for Veteran's Day. Memorial Day was established to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines) and died in the many wars that the United States have been involved.

Looking at the list of baseball players who served and died for their country, it includes those not only from the US, but from other countries too (many of them are Japanese). I obviously don't have any cards of any of these men, but I thought it would be appropriate to list them here. (If you would like to learn more about the baseball players who gave their lives for their country, you may find the list of links attached to their names (thanks to baseball-reference.com's bullpen wiki):

Seizaburo Amakawa
Kenichi Aoshiba
Masakimi Araki
Charlie Becker
Ray Boyd
Alex Burr
Dell Chambers
Harry Chapman
Larry Chappell
Charles Chase
Gene Curtis
Oran Dodd
Yukio Eguchi
Chuujiro Endo
John Frill
Isamu Fukushi
Goro Fushimi
Fred Gaiser
Elmer Gedeon
Harry Glenn
Eddie Glinnen
Marv Goodwin
Tadashi Goto
Eddie Grant
Newt Halliday
Ichiro Hara
Yasuo Hayashi
Eiji Hirabayashi
Shuichi Hirose
Ernie Hrovatic
Hisayuki Ikeda
Yutaka Ishii
Kentaro Ito
Jinkichi Itoh
Masaru Kageura
Daichi Kaino
Nobuo Kato
Tokuhisa Kawamura
Hajime Kuwashima
Noboru Kitahara
Kazuo Kito
Shoichi Kunihisa
Nobuo Kura
Kiyoshi Maeda
Masayoshi Maekawa
Tony Mahoney
Toshi Masuda
Christy Mathewson
Riichi Matsumoto
Shigeji Matushita
Joe F. McCarthy
Hachiro Miwa
Yoshikichi Miyaguchi
Kunigoro Mori
Minoru Morita
Shigeo Murakami
Chotaro Muramatsu
Yukio Muramatsu
Miyoshi Nakagawa
Masami Nakamura
Saburo Nakamura
Yonekichi Naya
Bob Neighbors
Noboru Noguchi
Harry O'Neill
Toshiyasu Ogawa
Toshio Ohara
Kenichi Ohta
Fukuyoshi Okada
Muneyoshi Okada
Hiroshi Onodera
Yoshizou Oribe
Adelano Rivera
Masao Santa
Eiji Sawamura
Bob Schmukal
Ralph Sharman
Yoshifumi Shimamoto
Uzaburo Shintomi
Kazuji Shiraki
Larry Smith (minor league umpire)
Billy Southworth Jr.
Harry Stees
Toyoo Sugiyama
Momosuke Takano
Kerry Lamont Taylor
Kazutaka Terauchi
Bun Troy
Genbei Tsuji
Carl Tumlinson
Tadashi Ueda
Shizuka Watanabe
Charles Wilcox
Susumu Yagi
Masaki Yoshihara

More information about these players may be found at the following websites:

The Deadball Era, Society for American Baseball Research, Veterans Affairs Gravesite Locator, The Encyclopedia of Catchers, Soldiers & Sailors System, The Baseball Necrology, Stars & Stripes.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

(In honor of Sgt. Clinton H. Nichols, husband of my grandmother Gloria Y. Nichols, who survived the Bataan Death March, but died in a camp not long afterwards.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1973 Topps #412 Manny Mota

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, May 30, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1973 Topps #412.
  • Player Name, position, team: Manny Mota, outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: April 16, 1962.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1972 stats (Dodgers): 371 AB, 120 H, 16 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 48 RBI, .323 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Giants as a Free Agent before the 1957 season. Traded by the Expos to the Giants 06/11/1969. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Mota's eleventh regular Topps card (his rookie card). The 1973 Topps set continued the use of action photos in their base cards. The design was clean and included a silhouette player based on his position. Mota was named to the All-Star team in 1973, but it was in 1972 that he saw him in the running for MVP consideration (helps that he had a .375 batting average). In fact, according to the cartoon caption on the back of the card, "Manny has had a BA of better than .300 for the last 7 out of 8 years." Towards the end of his career, he was used primarily as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement. And by the time he ended his career in 1982, he finished with a batting average of .304.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.75-$2.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 8 cards.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 1993 Topps Traded #47T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hey Philly Fans...Don't Be Depressed. Something Good Happened Tonight!

So the Flyers didn't win game 1 tonight (and with any luck, they won't win games 2, 3, 4 either). But you know, it isn't all that bad.

I know that the Phillies had a tough week. Either the Mets pitching staff is that good, or your offense took the series off. Personally, I think it's the latter. I speak from experience. I've been watching teams from both sides of Chicago, and know a thing or two about offensive power outages. But tonight...all of that is history.

Because tonight, Roy Halladay, the biggest acquisition during the offseason, pitched baseball's 20th Perfect Game!!!



Twenty-seven Florida Marlins batters stepped up to the plate to face the good Doctor. Twenty-seven Marlins batters were sent back to the dugout. This is the first time in major league history that two perfect games have been thrown in the same season against teams who play in the same state (Dallas Braden's perfecto was against the Rays). In fact, the last three perfect games have been against Florida teams (Mark Buehrle's gem was also against the Rays in 2009).

So Philly fans, take heart. Something good happened tonight. And on Monday or Tuesday, Halladay will have to make an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman for a Top 10 list. Happily, for Chicago fans anyway, it was on a baseball diamond instead of the Madhouse on Madison.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

P.S. Please don't buy out all of the above team sets. I'm still waiting to order mine. jba

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps #225 Ichiro Suzuki

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, May 22, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps #225.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ichiro Suzuki, outfielder, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 2, 2001.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2001 stats (Mariners): 157 G, 691 AB, 127 R, 242 H, 34 2B, 8 3B, 8 HR, 69 RBI, 56 SB, .457 SLG, 30 BB, 53 SO, .350 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent 11/22/2000. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Suzuki's second regular Topps card (total includes base and traded cards only). Okay, I might as well put it out there. Why I'm not a big fan of the 2002 Topps design. Is it because of the large picture? No. Is it because of the ribbons used on the top left corner and the name banner? No. Is it because of the words 2002 Topps above the picture? No. Then why? Why? What's the matter with the 2002 design? The orange. Orange!!! The inconsistent orange color. Can you even call it orange? What color is it??! They could have picked any shade of color, and they came up with this? At least the 2001 set was the perfect shade of green, and the 2003 set was the perfect shade of blue. This set looks to be a few shades away from what orange should be. (And before you say anything, at least with the 1999 Topps design, the borders were so thin that the picture dominates the card...that's a good thing). There is also so much space at the bottom left where the "Topps" logo is, it just feels like there could have either been a better use of space, or at least even the positions of both the team logo and the Topps logo (so the word Topps is on the top left ribbon), but that might make having the words "2002 Topps" in white letters a bit too repetitive. Okay, enough discussion on the design. In the history of Major League Baseball. Nobody...and I mean NOBODY...carried great expectations coming into a season than Ichiro Suzuki. Already one of the greatest players in Japan, many wondered how he would adjust playing in the USA? Until he (and Tsuyoshi Shinjo showed up), the only Japanese players in MLB were pitchers. This guy was an outfielder. Meaning he'd have to hit and play the field. Already a legend in his homeland, how would he fare here? The media hounded him daily, and those were just of the Japan press. The pressure was on. How would he do? Well, by the end of the 2001 season, not only did the Mariners come away with one of the best records in baseball EVER (116-46), but Ichiro led the league in batting average (a staggering .350, 242 hits/692 ab's), and won every award possible. He became the first player since Fred Lynn in 1975 to be named the AL's Rookie of the Year and it's Most Valuable Player in the same season. He was also voted as a starter in the 2001 All Star Game, but also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. And if you thought there would be a let down after that...you're still waiting for it because it hasn't happened, and nine seasons later, it probably won't.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.40-$1.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 127 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1973 Topps #412. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 28, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2003 Topps #417 Andy Fox

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, May 28, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2003 Topps #417.
  • Player Name, position, team: Andy Fox, shortstop, Florida Marlins.
  • Major League Debut: April 7, 1996.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2002 stats (Marlins): 133 G, 435 AB, 55 R, 109 H, 14 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 31 SB, .333 SLG, 49 BB, 94 SO, .251 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Yankees #2nd, June 1989. Traded by the Diamondbacks to the Marlins 06/09/2000. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Fox' fourth regular and final Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The 2003 Topps design was an upgrade over the previous year's effort. I will not say that I didn't like the 2002 design, but if I was to rank the 10 designs from the millennials, 2002 would be at the bottom. But this is the 2003 Topps design we're talking about, and the blue borders looked a lot better than the orange from the previous year. As mentioned ad nauseum on this humble little blog, the 2003 Topps set continued the tradition of every twenty years utilizing a second picture in a unique shaped frame (see 1963, 1983). It's should be a safe bet that when 2023 Topps comes out, there will be a return to this kind of design. Andy Fox was the primary shortstop in 2002, thanks to an injury to Alex Gonzalez. And he took full advantage of the opportunity with his best season since 1998, The blurb on the back, mentions that he had a .340 average with runners in scoring position (I think the stats people call it RISP). The back of his card also reads that "On the bases, he was thrown out only seven times in 38 steal attempts." Why couldn't they just say that he was 31 of 38 in the stolen base department? Why the negativity? Oh well. After the 2004 campaign, a year after helping the Fish to their second World Series, Fox called it a career.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2002 Topps #225. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2008 Topps #641 Marcus Thames

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, May 27, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #641.
  • Player Name, position, team: Marcus Thames, outfielder, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: June 10, 2002.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Tigers): 86 G, 269 AB, 37 R, 65 H, 15 2B, 0 3B, 18 HR, 54 RBI, 2 SB, 13 BB, 72 SO, .498 SLG, .776 OPS, .349 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Yankees #30th, June 1996. Signed with the Tigers as a Free Agent 12/08/2003. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Thames' fifth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Okay, I have to clarify a previous statement I made earlier on another post. Then I received a comment from John, saying that he didn't "think 2008 was a letdown, it was unique and one of the best in 20 years." Considering that I was comparing the 2008 set to 2009's awesome design, yes, the 2008 is a bit subpar. I will tell you though that the 2008 set was much better than the 2007 and 2006 set, but 2009's pretty much blew them all away. What a way to end the decade. Anyway. One of the cool things about the 2008 set was the colorful circles used to encapsulate the team name. It was so good that even the NFL and NBA sets used the same design. Thames, in his fourth year with the Tigers, was overshadowed by All-Stars like Ordoñez, Rodriguez, Granderson, et. al. But Thames held his own as the team's outfielder/DH. The blurb on the back mentions that in his years with Detroit, Thames "homered 15 times in 253 AB's against southpaws...he's 9-17 (two slams) with the bases loaded.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps #417. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2004 Topps #430 Garret Anderson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, May 26, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2004 Topps #430.
  • Player Name, position, team: Garret Anderson, outfielder, Anaheim Angels.
  • Major League Debut: July 27, 1994.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1994 stats (Angels): 159 G, 638 AB, 80 R, 201 H, 49 2B, 4 3B, 29 HR, 116 RBI, 6 SB, 31 BB, 83 SO, .541 SLG, .886 OPS, .315 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Drafted by the Angels #4th, June 1990. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Anderson's tenth regular Topps (total includes regular and traded cards only). Eventually, I'm going to have to rank my favorite Topps designs by decade. In the millenials (2000-2009), there were a lot of good ones, as well as a few clunkers. The 1994 is high on the list of good ones. Why? It was the first white bordered card Topps used for it's eponymous set since 1997, the silver foil lettering made the card easy to read (as well as scan), the picture selection was great, but the best design aspect to the 2004 set was that the little silhouette player on the lower left corner of every card matched the picture of the player. Down to the folds of that player's uniform. Pure genius. In 2003, Garret Anderson had one of his best years EVER. Already a World Series Champion, he was selected to participate in the 2003 All-Star Game, and won the Home Run Derby. He led the AL in doubles for the second straight year, was an MVP candidate, and earned his second Silver Slugger Award. He led the Halos in every major batting category in 2003. The back of his card includes a little quote from HOF Manager Sparky Anderson, "It was like the first time I saw Bobby Bonds in Class A Ball." It doesn't go into specifics as to why, but I have to believe that's a good comparison.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: 47 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps #641. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 Topps Baseball Series 2 is on the Bay!!!

As casebreakers are rushing to put singles, inserts, and sets of the brand new 2010 Topps Baseball Series 2 product (which is supposed to be out tomorrow), a lot of interesting things have been found so far...including:

  • Five new Pie in the Face variations, none of whom are Yankees.
  • The 20 SP cards are not ten numbers apart as originally described.
  • Has anybody noticed that there are no "When they were Young" cards in series 2??? I thought this was supposed to be a 54 card (18 per series) set...
Beckett has images of all five Pie in the Face cards:

225 David Price
353 Jason Heyward
435 Nelson Cruz
467 Mitch Talbot
509 Ike Davis


And as for the 20 SP's:

331 Eddie Mathews
354 Johnny Mize
369 Jimmie Foxx
370 Mel Ott
377 Tom Seaver
400 Frank Robinson
403 Ozzie Smith
409 Richie Ashburn
476 Thurman Munson
479 Dizzy Dean
489 Roy Campanella
532 Dale Murphy
549 Pee Wee Reese
559 Eddie Murray
569 Tris Speaker
590 Ernie Banks
600 Honus Wagner
615 Nolan Ryan
650 Ty Cobb
652 Mickey Mantle


Whether these still are limited to 3000 cards remain to be seen. It only means that it will be extremely harder (and possibly more expensive) to trade or obtain these cards. There is already an auction for all 20 cards for the unbelievably low BIN price of $379.99. Master sets are going anywhere between $99-150 on the bay, depending on if you want 613 cards or 623 (with the 10 MCG code cards).

As this blog has in past years, when information becomes available, we will be listing the ten rookies selected for the 2010 Topps Red Hot Rookies program.

Let the games continue. Happy Hunting!!!

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1984 Topps Traded #32T Carlos Diaz

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, May 25, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1984 Topps Traded #32T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Carlos Diaz, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Major League Debut: June 30, 1982.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1983 stats (Mets): 54 G, 83.1 IP, 3-1, 22 R, 19 ER, 64 SO, 35 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2 SV, 2.05 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners #1st, June 1979 (secondary). Traded by the Mets to the Dodgers 12/08/1983. Bats: right, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Diaz' second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The 1984 Topps set went against the norm in terms of its design. The team name is in big marquee letters going down the left side of the card (instead of on the top, or bottom). And there is a second picture on the front of the card with a headshot of the player (going against the 20 year cycle the second headshot is used...see 1963 Topps, 1983 Topps, 2003 Topps). Diaz was primarily used as a relief pitcher in the mid-1980's, and was sent from one coast (the Mets) to the other (the Dodgers) after the 1983 season in a four-player trade that also sent Sid Fernandez from the Dodgers to the Mets. Below the statistics is a "Dateline" feature that includes highlights from a couple of games. Now, ideally, this would include games from the 1984 season (to verify that this card was created in 1984). But instead, we're looking at two games from 1983: April 20, 1983, pitched 4 innings for win vs. Pirates; August 6, 1983, retired final 5 batters for save vs. Cubs.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps #430. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1995 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, May 24, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH3 Michael Saunders

We reset the Topps Card Randomizer to come up with seven new cards to present for this week. Introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, May 24, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH3.
  • Player Name, position, team: Michael Saunders, outfielder, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: July 25, 2009.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2009 stats (Combined stats from West Tenn-AA and Tacoma-AAA): 91 G, 343 AB, 58 R, 95 H, 22 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 12 SB, 39 BB, 96 SO, .461 SLG, .817 OPS, .277 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners #11th, June 1994. Bats Left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Saunders' first regular Topps card (his rookie card). There really isn't more that can be said about the 2009 Topps set. After a sub par 2008 design, this one really popped with collectors. With the large pictures, and the subtle use of "scrapbook corners" along with the logo within home plate on the lower right corner, what a way to end the millennial decade (2000-2009). Due to the rookie card rules imposed in 2006, Saunders couldn't make his "rookie card" debut until he made his major league debut. So when he made his big league debut before the end of July, he finally qualified to have that rookie card logo attached and could appear in regular or traded Topps cards. The back of his card reads that he registered four bunt singles in his first ten games. "He honed his small-ball skills at High Desert in 2007, heeding an organizational rule that required all speedy players to lay one down at least once every 10 at-bats." That means that the M's really stress the basics in the minors. Every 10 at bats, guys like Saunders had to bunt. Hey, if it works for the M's. Above the dome-shaped statistics box of many of the player's cards, there is an extra stat that is featured. In Saunders' case, it's his career OPS by classification: Short Season A .836; Single A .674; High Class A .866; Double A .851; Triple A .708; Total .798. Now normally, this would be sorted out from highest to lowest. I guess because there are no major league totals on here that Topps categorized it by classification from lowest to highest.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1984 Topps Traded #32T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

I Wonder if Topps Knows About This One???

Okay, I know this post isn't going to be about baseball cards per se, but I thought it was pretty funny. Rich Mueller, of Sports Collectors Daily passed along a little article on Facebook about that other card company's latest product (hey, they have to do something to pass the time while they're not in the MLB, NFL, NBA card making business), 2010 Upper Deck MLS Soccer cards.

If you're a fan of MLS (and I'm not going to lie, there are plenty), knock yourself out and buy the stuff (I can't believe I'm even recommending to buy anything from UD...I must be sick...). But it wasn't the article that brought my attention. It was the design of the cards that made me laugh.

Take a look at what the 2010 MLS set design looks like:


Hey, that's pretty sharp. For those who don't know, this is Landon Donovan, forward, of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The card, being a UD creation, is obviously borderless, except for te blue shaped curve on the left...wait a minute. Where have I seen this design before???


Oh yeah, that's right...the design elements are similar to 2010 Topps Baseball, (along with 2010 Topps Football, 2010 Topps MiLB Pro Debut, 2010 Topps WWE...). Company logo on top left, official team logo (or lettering as Topps has) on the bottom left, a colored curve on the left side of the card. Except for where the name (and position), and the fact that UD's cards are borderless, don't the designs look similar? Does Topps know about this or care for that matter that UD may have stolen another design that appears to be similar to one of their own (see 2009 OPC)?

If they did, and Topps plans on complaining, it's going to be an interesting soccer season.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1959 Topps #199 Leo Kiely

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, May 23, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1959 Topps #199.
  • Player Name, position, team: Leo Kiely, pitcher, Boston Red Sox.
  • Major League Debut: June 27, 1951 .
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1958 stats (Red Sox): 47 G, 81 IP, 5-2, .714 PCT, 26 SO, 18 BB, 3.00 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed by the Red Sox as a Free Agent before the 1948 season. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Kiely's fourth regular Topps card (his rookie card). The 1959 Topps set is easily recognized because of the circular player pictures, housed in a very colorful frame, along with the player's name in lower-case letters, and the facsimile autograph. What a way to end the 50's. Kiely was a relief pitcher, and apparently a very good one at that. The blurb on the back of his card reads that he only allowed three home runs in 1958. The year before, with San Francisco of the PCL, he boasted a 21-6 record, leading the league in wins that year. There is a cartoon above the stats to the right of the blurb of a cat in a baseball uniform. The caption reads "Leo is nicknamed The Black Cat." Baseball Reference has his nickname listed as "Kiki."
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $2.00-$4.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0 cards.
In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM.

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH3. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, May 22, 2010

2010 Topps Attax: Battle of the Ages. Like the Concept, But...

I mentioned this past Thursday that I bought Topps' first Topps Attax "theme deck" called "Battle of the Ages." While I don't have the complete regular set either Topps Attax product, (from either year...that is something I'll be working on...one of these months), I thought getting this product, especially because of the idea of "retired legends vs. today's stars" really appealed to me. Imagine, pitting Nolan Ryan against Ryan Howard in an Attax battle (you know how the game is played right???)

Photo gratuitously borrowed from Beckett Media. Thanks.

I first saw the set about a week ago at Meijer's, and didn't think much of it, only because I wasn't sure what was going to be in it. I mean, there was no checklist anywhere, and who was to say that this wasn't a glorified "starter kit." And that there would be a whole slew of cards relegated to this product that would have more legends to seek out in packs and on the bay. So I put it back on the shelf and went back to work. Then this past Wednesday, the boys and girls at the number one source of the Hobby wrote about it. After reading it, I gave the product a second look. With Meijer's selling the tins at under $10.00, "what's the harm?" I thought. With the tin in one hand, and a couple of packs of 2010 Topps in the other hand, I proceeded to the parking lot (paid for the cards first of course), and opened the tin.

It's a really large tin, and there is a lot of black foam used to protect the cards. I don't know how environmentally friendly that would be (and I don't know why I even bothered writing that bit of information now...), but the cards were well protected. There were two separate decks inside, one of the legends, and one of the modern day superstars. Each deck contained 17 cards, 15 regular cards and two foil parallels (I'm guessing that each player in the deck gets one and that these are seeded randomly...don't quote me on it). There is also a game "mat" (all trading card games have some kind of mat or playing board), that also doubles as the instructions on how to play the game. For those that want to know how the game is played, here are the rules:
  1. Pick your players. Each player (2) will need 13 cards for the game: 9 batters and 4 pitchers.
  2. Player 1 selects a pitcher and places the card face up in the "pitcher match up space" (the pitchers mound. Player 2 selects a batter and places the card face down in the "batter match-up" space (the batter's box).
  3. Player 1 calls out a pitch and player 2 turns over their batter. Compare ratings. If the batter's rating is equal or higher, he scores, and goes to the "runs" stack (no running to first base, no hitting a home run...it's a run). If it's lower, he goes to the "outs" stack. So it's either you get a run or your out. That's it.
  4. Repeat step 3 two more times. Use a new pitcher and batter each time. Remember, you can only use each pitcher once per inning. After player 2 has been at bat three times (no three outs required if he scores a run, any combination of runs or outs totalling three), the side is retired. Now player 1 is the batter and player 2 is the pitcher. Battle it out three more times. This will complete the first inning. There are two more to go.
  5. Once all 9 batters have been used by both players, the game is over. Count the number of cards in the "runs" pile. The player with the most runs wins. In case of a tie, players can go into extra innings by picking three batters and three pitchers. Play a complete inning to break the tie.
That's all there is to it. Now, when I bought this stuff last year, and I taught my daughter how to play, I made sure that she picked one player from each position (1b, 2b, 3b, ss, 3 of, 1 c, 1 dh), and then at least 2 starting pitchers and 1 reliever (the extra pitcher could be a starter or a closer...didn't matter). At least this way the "lineups" used has some semblance of a regular starting lineup. So after looking at the rosters on both sides, I was thoroughly disappointed. Nothing wrong with the players chosen, but take a look who made each of the squads...

(ignore the space)





Legends Lineup

  • Stan Musial, 1b, Cardinals
  • Jackie Robinson, 2b, Dodgers
  • Mike Schmidt, 3b, Phillies
  • Cal Ripken, Jr., ss, Orioles
  • Ty Cobb, of, Tigers
  • Rickey Henderson, of, Athletics
  • Bo Jackson, of, Royals
  • Reggie Jackson, of, Yankees
  • Mickey Mantle, of, Yankees
  • Babe Ruth, of, Yankees

Legends Pitching Staff

  • Bob Gibson, Cardinals
  • Jim Palmer, Orioles
  • Nolan Ryan, Rangers
  • Tom Seaver, Mets
  • Cy Young, Spiders

Modern Stars Lineup

  • Prince Fielder, 1b, Brewers
  • Ryan Howard, 1b, Philles
  • Albert Pujols, 1b, Cardinals
  • Evan Longoria, 3b, Rays
  • Alex Rodriguez, 3b, Yankees
  • David Wright, 3b, Mets
  • Derek Jeter, ss, Yankees
  • Manny Ramirez, of, Dodgers
  • Ichiro Suzuki, of, Mariners
  • Joe Mauer, c, Twins

Modern Stars Pitching Staff

  • Zack Greinke, Royals
  • Jon Lester, Red Sox
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants
  • CC Sabathia, Yankees
  • Justin Verlander, Tigers
Neither team has a complete lineup. The legends lack a catcher (what, no pictures of Bench, Fisk, or Campanella???) The modern stars lack a second baseman (take your pick with Pedroia, Hill, Utley, Phillips), missing a third outfielder (take your pick...anybody would have worked). Neither team has a closer (Eckersley, Sutter, Fingers, Hoffman, Rivera, Cordero). That's just being nitpicky...the rules do not say that you HAD to have a player for each position. You just needed 9 batters.

Some of the choices of players that did make the cut leave me scratching my head. Of the fifteen "legends" one is not a Hall of Famer. Don't get me wrong (and don't send me nasty e-mails about it), I'm not dissing his achievements. But presently, I don't see why Bo is even in this set (Bo knows somebody at Topps...dig on an old commercial slogan...). Jon Lester? Really??! What, Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay not available??? No Buehrle? No Ubaldo? Is Lester even the ace of his staff???

Overall, if you like Topps Attax, this is a great variation to play. And this does put the "legends vs. modern day players" concept to life in card form. But if you were hoping for more players, or more legends to play with (or modern day stars for that matter...I guess you could use regular Topps Attax cards but the backs of these are so different...whatever), you will be seriously disappointed.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1988 Topps #532 Mike Kingery

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, May 22, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #532.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike Kingery, outfielder, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: July 7, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1987 stats (Mariners): 120 G, 354 AB, 38 R, 99 H, 25 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 52 RBI, 7 SB, .449 SLG, 27 BB, 43 SO, .280 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Royals as a Free Agent 08/27/1979. Traded by the Royals to the Mariners 12/10/1986. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Kingery's third regular Topps card (total includes base and traded cards only). The 1988 set...what memories. It was the set that really hooked me to collecting cards. I think this may have been one of the cards that was given to me that fateful day when some kids just handed me some cards just because. Of course, those cards are long gone (I must have done some serious damage to them), but the memories alone are worth it. Isn't that what collecting is all about? The memories? Anyway, the 1988 set, with the team name in big letters inside the picture (probably not seen since 1967) and the banner that holds the players name is one of my favorite designs. Kingery was traded to the M's before the 1987 season, in a five-player deal that also saw future All-Star Danny Tartabull going to the Royals. He was the M's right fielder in 1987, and led all AL right fielders in fielding percentage (I'm stretching...I know). It was also his best season with Seattle. He went on a journeyman's career, making stops in San Francisco, Oakland, Colorado, and Pittsburgh before hanging it up for good in 1996.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1959 Topps #199. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Cleaning the Blogroll...Again!

It's that time of the month where I update the Sports Card Blogroll by removing the blogs that have not seen any activity in the last six months. It's something I'm not too fond of doing only because lately, the Hobby Blogging Community has been struggling this past month (myself included) to find their muses once again. But now that Topps Series 2 is coming out next week, it should make for an interesting time in the hobby. Sure, Chicle, Heritage, and even the big Bowman releases have been great, but it's the flagship that gets everyone excited.

Anyway, back to the point. The blogs, as you know, are mentioned here for posterity. If these blogs are yours, and you plan on starting up again, please send me an e-mail and let me know. So without further ado, the Sports Card Blogroll says goodbye to the following blogs:

So between the last time I updated the big Blogroll, I added 11 new sites and removed 7. That means the blogroll has is at +4 for the month. Let's keep the journeys going and show the world that blogging about the Hobby we love isn't going to go away anytime soon.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

A Savage Surprise in the Mail...

I came home on Friday to see a bubble envelope in the mail bin. Now, I have not made any trades lately, and even though I've been begging and pleading (there is a wantlist on the sidebar...please feel free to let me know if you have any of the cards there that you're willing to part with...thank you), I haven't been doing much in terms of communicating with other collectors. So to see an envelope addressed to me was a complete surprise.

It came from friend of the blog Glenn Savage, and inside it was a little note (with a wantlist that I will gladly go over), 19 2010 Topps Attax Header/Ad/Filler cards (does this mean I've been bipped???), and six 2009 Topps Updates and Highlights Legends of the Game Gold cards!!!

2009 Topps U&H Target Gold Legends of the Game Henderson, Jackson, F. Robinson, Sandberg, Carlton, & Bench.

So now I need three more cards and this set is complete. Of the 60 Walmart and Target Exclusive Legends of the Game cards, I now only need 7 (LLP's are from Walmart, LLG's are from Target):

  • LLP12 Jackie Robinson
  • LLP13 Babe Ruth
  • LLP14 Honus Wagner
  • LLG13 Babe Ruth
  • LLG22 Ozzie Smith
  • LLG23 Babe Ruth
  • LLG25 Nolan Ryan
Thanks Glenn. I will see if I can get something back to you in return.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 21, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1991 Topps #337 Keith Comstock

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, May 21, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1991 Topps #337.
  • Player Name, position, team: Keith Comstock, pitcher, Seattle Mariners.
  • Major League Debut: April 3, 1984.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1990 stats (Mariners): 60 G, 56 IP, 7-4, 22 R, 18 ER, 50 SO, 26 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2 SV, 2.89 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #5th, June 1976. Signed by the Mariners as a Free Agent 06/21/1989. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Comstock's second regular and final Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). I have a confession to make. Back in 1990, my mom found out that one of her childhood friends actually worked for the Topps Company. After telling her friend that I collected baseball cards, I received a ton of stuff (don't ask me where it all went...). Some time before the end of the year, after we had settled into our new home, a package came in the mail from my mother's friend. Inside was a complete 1991 Topps baseball set, before the cards were even available to the public. Needless to say, I was extremely excited. I went over the cards and one of the first things I noticed, other than the Bill Schroeder card was really bent (you know, even though I bought more cards, I never really replaced it), was the Keith Comstock card. Here he is, pitching for the Mariners, you can even see the Yellow "S" on the cap, and what team is he affiliated with???


    That's right, the Cubs. It turns out that this was not the only error card in the set. In fact, perusing the big Beckett book, there are, not counting the uncorrected ones, 28 error cards in this set. These errors consisted of wrong players on the card (see Jose Gonzalez #279 and Wes Chamberlain #603) to spelling or statistical errors. Even the checklists had errors on them. Guess who has all of the error cards??? (raises hand sheepishly). Back to Keith Comstock. Ironically, his only other Topps card (from 1988) was also an error card that was eventually corrected (white letters on "Padres" was changed to blue to match the other Padres cards), at least Topps had the right team then. I'll be honest, years after knowing that the 1991 Comstock card was corrected, I never, EVER, saw one with a Mariners logo. All the cards I had seen were the ones with the Cubs on it. I never bought a factory set (why would I need to...I already got the set!!!), so I can only imagine that's probably why. So I thank the Baseball Card Cyber Museum and Joe McAnally for the scan.
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25 (error), $0.01-$0.05 (corrected)
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1988 Topps #532. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Where in the Heck Have I Been This Week???

For those that were wondering (okay, wondering might not be the right word...but that's the best one I could come up with right now) where I've been this past week, and why the Random Card of the Day segments didn't appear until last night, it's because it's been pretty busy both at home and at work, so keeping up with the blogging was put on the back burner. I hope now that I'm caught up with the daily posts that I can get back to normal.

I have so much to write about, especially about Topps Attax' special "Battle of the Ages" set (think of the Pokémon themed decks). I saw it at the Meijer last week, but didn't think much about it then. Then earlier this week, the boys and girls at the number one source in the Hobby wrote about it, saying that if you thought your 2010 Topps Attax set was complete, guess again, and waxed poetic about this "retired greats vs. new stars" concept. Needless to say, my curiousity got the best of me, and I bought the set. I will have much more to write about it this weekend.

Onto to other matters. I've been getting a number of e-mails requesting to add their blogs to the big Sports Card Blogroll (and in a couple of cases, bringing back a couple of blogs that were previously removed). I am sorry for not getting to them sooner. And until last night, I was pretty lax about adding new sites to the roll. I have since added 11 new blogs to the big blogroll, bringing the total of "active" blogs back up to 304. I will, however, be doing the usual maintenance and removing blogs with six months of inactivity, so the number will go down again. My big concern is that with the "lull" that's been going on all over the Hobby blogosphere that there might not be as many new blogs coming down the pipeline, and that's not a good thing.

I have also, slowly, begun buying packs here and there of 2010 Topps 1 again. And even though I already have all the cards, I was able to whittle down my want list of Blue Backs (the ones found exclusively at Wal-Mart and Meijer) a bit, finding two cards. Friend of the blog Matthew Edwards sent me the following two cards in the mail (the first such mailday of cards in a long, long time):

2010 Topps Cards Your Mother Threw Out Original Back Nolan Ryan 1978


2010 Topps George Sisler SP #125.

Thank you Matthew for the help. I do have your wantlists printed, and when I get the chance, I will let you know what I plan on sending to you. I apologize for the long delay, but know that I got the cards, and I am truly thankful.

So now I still need 15 of the 2010 SP's and 23 of the CYMTO Original Back cards. The list is on the sidebar. Please look and see if you have anything.

And finally, 2010 Topps Series 2 is coming next week. Beckett has a number of scans of the cards they got from their little box break. So that was a bit to see what the cards are going to look like. I'm excited, but I still haven't bought my 30 team sets yet (will get to that...I want to have all the cards ready before the All-Star Break!!!) Lots to buy, so little time.

Here's to a busy next couple of weeks and months for this humble, little blog.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T72 Ryan Knox

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, May 20, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T72.
  • Player Name, position, team: Ryan Knox, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Helena-Rk): 72 G, 275 AB, 58 R, 96 H, 17 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 44 SB, .440 SLG, 25 BB, 27 SO, .349 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Brewers #24th, June 1999. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Knox' first and only regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Traditionally, Topps' Traded sets are numbered in alphabetical order by player. That stopped in 1993. When the "traded set" made it's return in 1999, Topps renamed the product "Traded and Rookies," to make note that the set included more than just veteran players who switched teams during the off-season. The 2000 set was sold in factory box form only, and consisted of 135 cards, the first 90 of which, were reserved for the "rookies." Although Knox was drafted in the #24th round of the 1999 June draft, he was highly regarded for his speed and base stealing skills. He was expected to advance quickly through the Brewers minor league system. Topps was half right writing that sentence. Knox did advance throughout the Brewers minor league system, making stops at all levels during the course of his career, but he never did make it to the majors. He finished his minor league career in the Devil Rays system before finally calling it quits in 2006.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1991 Topps #337. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1995 Topps #658 Giants On Deck Dan Carlson & Keith Williams

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, May 19, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1995 Topps #658.
  • Player Name, position, team: On Deck: Dan Carlson, pitcher, San Francisco Giants; Keith Williams, outfielder, San Francisco Giants.
  • Major League Debut: September 13, 1996 (Carlson); June 7, 1996 (Williams).
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1994 stats: Carlson (Phoenix-AAA): 31 G, 151.1 IP, 13-6, 80 R, 78 ER, 117 SO, 55 BB, 22 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1 SV, 4.64 ERA; Williams (San Jose-A): 128 G, 504 AB, 91 R, 151 H, 30 2B, 8 3B, 21 HR, 97 RBI, 4 SB, .516 SLG, 60 BB, 102 SO, .300 AVG.
  • Any special information about players: Carlson: Drafted by the Giants #33rd, June 1989. Bats: right, Throws: right; Williams: Drafted by the Giants #7th, June 1993. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: This card is the first and only regular Topps card for either Carlson and Williams (total includes regular and traded cards only). At the end of the 1995 Topps Series 2 set were 28 cards, one for each team, featuring two up and coming prospects who, according to Topps, were "on deck" and soon would be ready for the majors. And representing the Giants, were pitcher Dan Carlson and outfielder Keith Williams. The back of the card recognizes the card as the "rookie card" for both players, and has each of their minor league stats, a quick blurb about the player, and the scout that signed them. Carlson: has won 12 or more games each of his last 4 seasons, with a high of 16 in 1992. Signed by scout John Shafer; Williams: ranked 15th in the minors in total bases and led California League outfielders in fielding. Signed by scout Gary Robinson. Both had very strong seasons in the minors, and both wound up playing with the Giants in the 1996 MLB campaign, although not together. Carlson was called up in September of 1996, and saw limited action in two seasons with the Giants. He was drafted by the Devil Rays in the 1997 expansion draft (28th pick...didn't get a card in the 1998 Topps set...WHAT??!), pitched briefly for the D-Rays before signing with the Diamondbacks (coincidentally, the other expansion team) the following season. He continued on in the minors until 2001, playing in the AAA affiliates for both the D-Backs and the Cardinals. Williams, on the other hand, joined the team in June. He was used primarily as a pinch hitter, and then started three games in right field. He saw action in 9 games that month before returning to the minors. He never returned to the majors. Williams spent the rest of his career with the Giants' AAA team, first in Phoenix, then to Fresno before signing on with the Northern League's St. Paul Saints. He finished his professional career in 2002.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of each player do I own?: Carlson: 1 card; Williams: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps Traded and Rookies #T72. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2007 Topps #372 Shane Victorino

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, May 18, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2007 Topps #372.
  • Player Name, position, team: Shane Victorino, outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: April 2, 2003.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2006 stats (Phillies): 153 G, 415 AB, 70 R, 119 H, 19 2B, 8 3B, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 4 SB, 24 BB, 54 SO, .414 SLG, .760 OPS, .287 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Dodgers #5th, June 1999. Drafted by the Phillies from the Padres in the Rule 5 Draft, 12/13/2004. Bats: both, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Victorino's second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The 2007 Topps set is remembered for it's filmstrip design, easy to chip black borders, and sometimes hard to read statistics on the back of the cards (against what looks like a baseball infield picture). The design also features silver foil lettering which along with the black border makes it sometimes hard to get a good scan of the cards. The large last name at the bottom made it easy to sort cards by player. "The Flyin' Hawaiian" made it to the big leagues for good in 2006, roving the outfield of Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies. There is no blurb on the back because the card shows his minor league career stats as well. Topps traditionally keeps the player's minor league statistics on his card until either he has four seasons of MLB experience or at least four lines of major league statistics before taking the minor league stats off the card.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 15 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1995 Topps #658. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1995 here on the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Monday, May 17, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2006 Topps #472 Duaner Sanchez

We reset the Topps Card Randomizer to come up with seven new cards to present for this week. Introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, May 17, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2005 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH75.
  • Player Name, position, team: Duaner Sanchez, pitcher, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: June 14, 2002.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2005 stats (Dodgers): 79 G, 82 IP, 4-7, 36 R, 34 ER, 71 SO, 36 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 8 SV, 1.35 WHIP, 3.73 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Diamondbacks as a Free Agent 08/30/1996. Traded by the Dodgers to the Mets 01/04/2006. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Sanchez' first regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only; doesn't include his cards from either 2003 or 2005 Topps Total). The randomizer brings us back to the 2006 set, the first set under the new agreement both Topps and that other card company signed with MLB Properties (first of four years). The kid friendly design brought bright colors used in the frames of the cards, and even the return of cartoons on the back of the cards. The caption under the cartoon says, "An avid musician, Duaner plays the trumpet for enjoyment." Which is great, except that the cartoon doesn't show a trumpeter. It includes a band of baseball players with a saxaphonist, a bassist, a drummer, and a guitarist, but nobody playing the trumpet. Nobody said they had to be accurate right? As this card was included in 2006 Topps Series 2, Topps was able to get a picture of Sanchez with his new team (the Mets) in spring training, as he was traded during the offseason by the Dodgers. The blurb on the back says that although he is going to play for a new team, the catcher already knows him. Paul LoDuca caught Sanchez when he was with the Dodgers, and says that Sanchez has "great stuff...he always wants that ball."
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2007 Topps #372. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. See you then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1951 Topps Blue Back #11 Johnny Groth

It's Retro Sunday!!! Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Sunday, May 16, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1967 Topps #114.
  • Player Name, position, team: Johnny Groth, outfielder, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: September 5, 1946.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1950 stats (Tigers): N/A (no statistics found on the 1951 Topps cards).
  • Any special information about player: Signed by Tigers as a Free Agent 08/06/1946. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Groth's first regular Topps card. The second regular baseball card set in Topps' history, the blue-colored backed cards made up a separate set to the red-colored backs. The idea was for kids to use these cards and play a game of baseball using the plays or calls on each of the cards (drawing Groth's card would give you a ball). Johnny Groth would play fifteen seasons in the majors, most of those years with the Tigers. He did make stops with the Kansas City Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, and St. Louis Browns. He finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1949, thanks to a .293 average with 11 homers and 73 rbi's. He did even better the following year, hitting .306 (as indicated on the front of the card) and driving 85 runs.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $15.00-$30.00.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 0 cards.

In case you're actually wondering, I don't own this card, but was able to get a crystal clean copy of the image from the from the Baseball Card Cyber Museum. So thank you Joe McAnally and the folks at the BCCM. It's great that they added the 1951 Topps Red and Blue backs to the museum. Made it easy to use the image (I was torn between stretching it or leaving it alone...let me know if it would have been better to leave it at the normal size).

Well, it's back to normal on Monday. Tomorrow's card will be: 2006 Topps #472. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Come on back then to see what the Topps Card Randomizer gets us to look at then.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #263 Jim Thome

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, May 15, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #263.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Thome, third baseman, Cleveland Indians.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1991.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Indians): 137 G, 452 AB, 92 R, 142 H, 29 2B, 3 3B, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 4 SB, .558 SLG, 97 BB, 113 SO, .314 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by Indians #13th, June 1989. Bats: left, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Thome's fifth regular Topps card (total includes base and traded cards only, and does not include his 1992 Topps MLB 91' Debut card). The Randomizer really loves the 1996 Topps set, and I do too. With it's large picture, and a simple blue name plate (with the accompanying headshot), makes for a great design. At this point in Thome's career, he was just coming into his own as a power threat, playing more than a hundred games for the first time in his career. The back of the card reads that he finished second among AL third basemen in homers (led by Gary Gaetti's 35). He finished ninth in batting average (.314), and drew the most walks by an Indian since Mike Hargrove, who happened to be the Tribe's manager in the mid 90's. During the Indians' 1995 postseason run, Thome went 8-34 (.235), with 3 home runs, and 7 rbi's. The Tribe finally made it to the World Series in 1995, just falling short to the Braves in six games.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 81 cards.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1951 Topps Blue Backs #11. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Friday, May 14, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2000 Topps #136 Brad Ausmus

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, May 14, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2000 Topps #136.
  • Player Name, position, team: Brad Aumsus, catcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: July 28, 1993.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1999 stats (Tigers): 217 G, 458 AB, 62 R, 126 H, 25 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 54 RBI, 12 SB, .415 SLG, 51 BB, 71 SO, .275 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Yankees #47th, June 1987. Traded by the Astros to the Tigers 01/14/1999. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Ausmus' eighth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only, not including his 1992 Topps MLB '91 card). To follow up with the gold colored borders from 1999, Topps' 2000 design starts with gray/silver borders, unobtrusive name/position area, team color inspired graphics, and nice large picture. The backs of the cards are vertically oriented, something not seen since 1993. There is a decent sized picture on the back of each card that takes up more than a third of the card. Of course, there is a space taken on the picture itself for use of the basic information. And notice that you can actually see the face inside the mask (thanks to Charlie O'Brien and the goalie-style catcher's mask). Ausmus' career year was in 1999, where he was named one of three Tigers' captains, and was selected to the AL All-Star team.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 28 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1996 Topps #253. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1978 Topps #314 Paul Lindblad

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, May 13, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1978 Topps #314.
  • Player Name, position, team: Paul Lindblad, pitcher, Texas Rangers.
  • Major League Debut: September 15, 1965.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1977 stats (Rangers): 42 G, 99 IP, 4-5, 50 R, 46 ER, 46 SO, 29 BB, 4.18 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Athletics as a Free Agent prior to the 1963 season. Contract purchased by the Texas Rangers 02/19/1977. Bats: left, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Lindblad's thirteenth regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). How cool is it to see the statistics of a player and see that he played for the Washington Senators (before they turned into the Texas Rangers)? I think the same will be said in 10 years, when a kid opens a pack of cards and says the same thing about a player with stats from the Montréal Expos. I digress. While the 1978 Topps design isn't the greatest, the picture selection for the set itself is memorable. This card probably wouldn't make it into the Dinged Corners collection (he's not smiling), but it's funny how the trees behind him look like they're coming out of his hair (or is that his hair???) Lindblad played for many years with the Oakland Athletics, including the World Champions in 1973 and 1974 (he was shipped of to Washington in 1971 and moved with the team to Texas for 1972 before coming back to the A's). Although 1978 would turn out to be his final big league season, he did have a 1979 card, so that card will have his final, complete statistics. Many of the players' 1978 cards could be used for a game called "Play Ball." Each card featured a play (single, home run, strikeout, etc), and depending on the card, you could in fact, play a game. Drawing Lindblad's card would have resulted in a fly out.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #136. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

bdj610's End of Year MLB All-Star Teams: 2008 Edition

Well, we've finally reached the point in this series that the teams that I will present have already been introduced. When I started this humble, little blog in 2008, never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd gather up the courage and put online one of my childhood dalliances. But after 21 years (and 42 posts), it's become a reality, and my teams are now permanently online for posterity.

The year 2008 saw the Cubs AND the White Sox in the postseason. The Cubs had the best record in the NL, and the White Sox somehow managed to win three straight games against three different teams to win the AL Central. Unfortunately, both teams were bounced in the first round (sigh...). But in Chicago, it was all about the Cubs and the White Sox and the successes both teams would have in the regular season.

There are now 36 spots on each of the 2008 rosters (the number has stayed the same since 2006). Both teams get: 3 first basemen, 3 second basemen, 3 third basemen, 3 shortstops, 9 outfielders (regardless of position), 3 catchers, 1 designated hitter, 6 starting pitchers, 1 middle relief pitcher, and 4 closers. The rule that every team gets a representative remains after all these years. And regardless of what league hosts the ASG, there will be a DH chosen. In cases where an AL team is hosting (the 2009 game was played at the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis), the DH will be part of the lineup. In cases where the NL is hosting (as was the case with the previous series), the DH will be used as a pinch hitter when needed.

Without further ado, for the first time online, I am proud to introduce my 2008 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams (in alphabetical order by position):

(haven't we seen these guys before???)

American League

First Basemen

  • Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  • Justin Morneau, Twins
  • Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

Second Basemen

  • Ian Kinsler, Rangers*
  • Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox*
  • Brian Roberts, Orioles

Third Basemen

  • Evan Longoria, Rays*
  • Melvin Mora, Orioles
  • Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

Shortstops

  • Derek Jeter, Yankees
  • Jhonny Peralta, Indians*
  • Michael Young, Rangers

Outfielders

  • Jack Cust, Athletics*
  • Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
  • Josh Hamilton, Rangers*
  • Raul Ibañez, Mariners*
  • Nick Markakis, Orioles
  • Magglio Ordoñez, Tigers
  • Carlos Quentin, White Sox*
  • Grady Sizemore, Indians
  • Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners

Catchers

  • Joe Mauer, Twins
  • Dioner Navarro, Rays*
  • A. J. Pierzynski, White Sox

Designated Hitter

  • Jim Thome, White Sox

Pitchers

  • A. J. Burnett, Blue Jays*
  • Gavin Floyd, White Sox*
  • Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
  • Cliff Lee, Indians
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox*
  • Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox*
  • Mariano Rivera, Yankees
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Angels
  • Joe Saunders, Angels*
  • Scot Shields, Angels*
  • Joakim Soria, Royals*

Manager

  • Joe Maddon, Rays

The Starters:

  • 1B: Morneau
  • 2B: Pedroia
  • 3B: Rodriguez
  • SS: Jeter
  • OF: Guerrero
  • OF: Hamilton
  • OF: Suzuki
  • C: Mauer
  • DH: Thome
  • P: Lee

*First-Time All-Star


National League

First Basemen

  • Lance Berkman, Astros
  • Adrian Gonzalez, Padres*
  • Ryan Howard, Phillies

Second Basemen

  • Mark DeRosa, Cubs*
  • Dan Uggla, Phillies
  • Chase Utley, Phillies

Third Basemen

  • Chipper Jones, Braves
  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
  • David Wright, Mets

Shortstops

  • Cristian Guzman, Nationals*
  • Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
  • Jose Reyes, Mets

Outfielders

  • Carlos Beltran, Mets
  • Ryan Braun, Brewers*
  • Pat Burrell, Phillies*
  • Adam Dunn, Diamondbacks
  • Matt Holliday, Rockies
  • Carlos Lee, Astros
  • Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals*
  • Nate McLouth, Pirates*
  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs

Catchers

  • Russell Martin, Dodgers
  • Bengie Molina, Giants
  • Geovany Soto, Cubs*

Designated Hitter

  • Albert Pujols, Cardinals

Pitchers

  • Chad Billingsley, Dodgers*
  • Ryan Dempster, Cubs*
  • Brad Lidge, Phillies
  • Tim Lincecum, Giants*
  • Carlos Marmol, Cubs*
  • Johan Santana, Mets
  • Jose Valverde, Astros
  • Edinson Volquez, Reds*
  • Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
  • Brian Wilson, Giants*
  • Kerry Wood, Cubs

Manager

  • Cecil Cooper, Astros

The Starters:

  • 1B: Berkman
  • 2B: Utley
  • 3B: Jones
  • SS: HRamirez
  • OF: Braun
  • OF: Holliday
  • OF: Soriano
  • C: Soto
  • DH: Pujols
  • P: Lincecum

Including the 72 players listed above, 565 individual players have been named onto these teams. Ivan Rodriguez holds the record for most All-Star appearances with 14 (Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, and Tony Gwynn each made 13 appearances).

Thirty players are first-time all-stars (16 for the American League, 14 for the Nationals). One person teams this year included the Athletics (Cust), Royals (Soria), Brewers (Braun), Nationals (Guzman), Padres (AGonzalez), Pirates (McLouth), Reds (Volquez), and Rockies (Holliday). The Cubs lead both teams in representatives with 7, the Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Mets, and Phillies each have four players on the two teams. Big-time Chicago bias here (hey, both teams had great years) with four White Sox and seven Cubs players.

As always, seven regular games (10,000 simulations each, six with the same starting pitchers, one where lineups and starting pitchers change), and one All-Star Game will be simulated during the course of the week. I hope to have the results of all the games by the end of the week.

Now it's time for me to create the .DAT files before getting the games set. Game results coming next week. Here's hoping that I don't take too long with this...

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1995 Topps #54 Joey Hamilton

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, May 12, 2010:


  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1995 Topps #54.
  • Player Name, position, team: Joey Hamilton, pitcher, San Diego Padres.
  • Major League Debut: September 24, 1994.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1994 stats (Padres): 16 G, 108.2 IP, 9-6, 40 R, 36 ER, 61 SO, 29 BB, 16 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 0 SV, 2.98 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Padres #1st, June 1991. Bats: right, Throws: right.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Hamilton's second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). The 1995 Topps set, with it's unique font used for the gold-foil letters, and pictures that look like they were literally torn from a magazine, stands out as one of the best designs of the 1990's. Hamilton was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team in 1994, hence the extremely large trophy included on the card. He also finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Hamilton was the NL's best rookie pitcher in 1994, says the blurb on the back of the card. "One of them (his starts) was opposite Marlins' Charlie Hough, who was pitching in the majors before Hamilton was even born." Joey would go on to a pretty good ten-year career, playing for the Padres, Blue Jays, and Reds.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 9 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1978 Topps #314. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama